Friday, April 29, 2011

Obama's Unspeakable Jihad & Fifth Column

Suppose George Bush, without any consultation with Congress, had simply ordered the U.S. military to rain bombs and missiles on Libya, or any other country. The leftist mainstream media would have called him everything from Hitler to Mao to Stalin to Pol Pot to Kim Jong il to Saddam to Hirohito to Genghis Khan and all other butchers in-between through all the ages. The media would have crucified him.

In addition, suppose that had happened despite the fact that Libya posed absolutely no threat to this or any other country, owned a population two million less than that of New York City, and had surrendered its weapons-of-mass-destruction establishment to this country years ago, when Bush actually was the president and when Libya’s Qaddafi probably looked at what was happening in Iraq and felt himself thus well-advised in doing so. The media would have insisted upon impeachment, conviction and expulsion from office, not to mention dragging Bush before some war-crimes court, here or elsewhere.

In addition, suppose Bush had presented a plan for obliterating Libya to the United Nations Security Council in order to gain some sort of approval for his bloodletting of Libyans, without mentioning, of course, that he was merely taking sides in a civil war, something any president worth the title would do. The media would have castigated him for surrendering U.S. sovereignty to a gaggle of freeloaders in New York City living the good life.

In addition, suppose Bush had instructed NATO to prepare to take over his murderous scheme because the U.S. was getting out, having started the bloody ball rolling for ten days at $55 million per day and figuring that was enough. The media would have accused him of pulling another Vietnam – lots of firepower and lives lost without any intention of seeing the little infamy through. The media would have accused him of being guilty of “crimes against humanity” and weakness.

Suppose Bush had flown to a resort in Brazil as the perfect location for announcing his “liberation of the Libyan people.” The media would have laughed him to scorn, accused him of being too cowardly to make the announcement at home and thus face the U.S. public, and suggested that he took too many vacations.

Suppose Bush, after cavorting in Brazil, had cruised Air Force One to visit other vacation spots for the next five or so days, living it up while his subordinates were left to handle his little war, answer to the press, and otherwise do all the dirty work attendant upon a dirty, underhanded operation. The media would have accused him of dereliction of duty and putting personal preferences before doing his job.

Suppose Bush had started the Libya operation, complete with numbers of attempts at assassinating Qaddafi (while denying that, of course), but insisted that Qaddafi was not a target and that Libyan regime-change was never a goal or even a consideration. The media would have accused him of subterfuge and perfidious conduct, as well as not being too bright, since the public could see right through such deceit.

Suppose Bush had given the Libyan rebels assurance, implied or otherwise, that he was solidly behind them and would furnish humanitarian help, translated by the rebels as arms and ammunition, but had refused to give them so much as a single m-16. The media would have flayed him for having dealt deceitfully with the “PEOPLE,” first abandoning the project to a reluctant NATO and then opting himself out of the whole mess.

Suppose, when Qadaffi had figured out how to thwart the air attacks by concealing light armaments/vehicles within the population, Bush had simply decided to bomb the military targets anyway, thus unfortunately killing all sorts of civilians – women, children, the old, etc. The media would have accused him of being heartless, insensitive…a murderer of the most vulnerable.

Yes…it’s easy to see where this is going. Two things stand out: (1) Obama, without even a minute’s worth of military experience, has instituted the calculated murder of civilians, an unwarranted attack on another nation, and a display of arrogance that’s unprecedented. (2) A subservient mainstream media has taken no notice of his perfidy on any bases, especially moral/ethical grounds. It’s as if to the media he has done no wrong, when it’s obvious to everyone else that he has waged and continues to wage a singularly gratuitous bloodletting that’s appalling, especially in current American history.

It was said that Reagan was the Teflon president. If that was so – and it wasn’t – Obama, as far as the media is concerned, is absolutely bulletproof. Morally, he is bankrupt, and that’s the worst sort of bankruptcy imaginable. In eloquence, he compares to Reagan like a clown, and his all too frequent speeches of high-flown rhetoric are as sounding brass, signifying nothing. Worse, he has caused honorable men in the military to commit murder on an unsuspecting nation. Intolerable!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trump on the Stump?

On the morning of 27 April appeared some of the best entertainment imaginable. There was Donald Trump holding a press conference at the airport in Portsmouth New Hampshire and, among other things, boasting that he had forced President Obama to finally release a copy of his official birth certificate for all to see. This, said Trump, allowed the attention of the nation to be turned toward the actual problems the nation faces.

Trump is good at this sort of thing, much better than Obama, who drags out his a-a-n-n-d-d-s-s interminably while he dreams up an answer (actually a short speech) to a reporter’s question, realizing that the reporter these days is also a commentator and will embellish his reporting with the proper interpretation determined by his (the reporter’s) agenda or that of his establishment. Trump simply shoots from the lip and is not above dissing a reporter, as he showed when he asked one such if he was intelligent.

Apparently watching Trump’s TV extravaganza as he tore into the White House on Libya, economics, Obama’s school-records, Chinese hoodwinking of the administration, oil and how to get it or drive down its price, Obama appeared abruptly in the White House press room, thereby automatically commanding the TV apparatchiks to cut off Trump and put himself in the spotlight. This was so transparent that one still laughs. There’s nothing like one-ups-man-ship to put an agitator in his place.

The president gave a short speech and just as abruptly exited the Press Room, leaving the reporters’ dropped jaws to slam the floor together. He characterized Trump as a circus barker and his birth-exercise as a sideshow featuring silliness, then went on to state the usual/obvious boilerplate about people out of work and serious issues (serious stuff) needing to be addressed. He then cruised Air Force One to Chicago for more pressing matters – the serious “stuff” he mentioned being the taping of a show with Oprah Winfrey, and, of course, those fund-raising gigs.

Trump mentioned one aspect of the current presidency that rings a bell for its sheer truthfulness, i.e., that the mainstream media has protected Obama throughout his presidency…a sort of fifth column. One such instance pertains to Obama’s personal war on Libya, waged without even consulting Congress. He simply gave the order back in March to bomb the bejesus out of Qaddafi and then went off to Brazil to announce that he had instigated the war, spending some $55 million per day for ten days and then strong-arming the whole mess off onto NATO.

The mainstream media hasn’t called him on this. Obama has chosen his side and entered a civil war in another country, one that posed no threat to this country or any other country. The mainstream media hasn’t called him on this. At his command, Libyans have been slaughtered by U.S. missiles and bombs. The mainstream media hasn’t called him on this. Even Fox News seems to have given him something of a pass, notwithstanding that he has ordered the killing of civilians, since bombs and missiles just go where they’re aimed and don’t know one Libyan from another.

As a result of Obama’s personal war, blood has flowed in the streets in much greater quantity than would have been the case if he’d minded his own business, not to mention that a man who calls himself a Christian perpetrated it, not out of a defensive posture or because of an actual or perceived threat (Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively) but for reasons impossible of belief, namely, that Qaddafi was about to kill some of his people. Killing some of their people is what Arabic/Muslim leaders do as a matter of course…nothing new. The mainstream media don’t ask Obama how he feels about his gratuitous murdering of innocent people. That would be gauche. Anyhow, he may not have thought about that.

This gives the Muslims the perfect opportunity to claim that Christians and so-called Christian nations are no better than they and their nations in the business of spilling innocent blood whenever such action seems propitious. This stinks but the mainstream media have given Obama a pass on his causing this unwarranted vulnerability (and that of the U.S.) to being criticized as no different from Qaddafi, Assad, or the other Muslim butchers. Obama played God, deciding which Libyans would die and which would live. This is ungodly arrogance on a scale hard to imagine…but the mainstream media is not interested because the emperor (their darling) has no clothes.

Yeah…Trump might be right on. The political gurus said Reagan – a mere movie actor – couldn’t govern, but he was one of the best presidents ever. Trump – also an entertainer, among many other things – might be just the man for the job.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Senator Visits Libya!

Senator Lindsey Graham delivered himself of this profound statement to CNN’s State of the Union program 24 April: Qadaffi “needs to wake up every day wondering ‘Will this be my last?’” Senator John McCain intimated over the weekend, after a “fact-finding” trip to Libya, that President Obama should just get it over with in Libya, whatever that means. Most military gurus suggest that putting troops on the ground is the only way to just get it over with, but Obama has promised to not only not do that but that no arms to the Libyan insurgents would be forthcoming, either. Ditto for NATO, Obama’s current surrogate in war-making.

One would have hoped he would know better, but Obama has taken a tiger by the tail concerning Libya, whether by listening to these two arrogant senators or his mushy-headed Amazons, State Secretary Clinton, UN Ambassador Rice, and National Security Council honcho Samantha Power, whose shtick apparently is that revolutions can be started in small countries if big countries will stir up strife, as per Libya, the raison d’etra being that there are (gasp) oppressed people in those countries yearning to be free. Some folks believe Power pushes this agenda in order to somehow make it work against Israel, for which she apparently has no love.

It’s hard to imagine a U.S. senator saying what Graham did about a head of state, even though he has the right to hate Qaddafi with a purple passion. He proved that senators can wallow in stupidity and still get elected. Lots of folks do. It’s hard to imagine a U.S. senator spending a handful of hours on foreign soil and deciding publicly that the rebels are okay-guys deserving of U.S.-accomplished victory, but that’s what McCain did, having no way actually to know anything about these “good guys.” He then extended his Easter vacation to Cairo for reasons upon which one can only speculate.

In a recent hearing, the intelligence was delivered from a reliable source that elements of al Qaeda had been noticed in the rebel contingent, something Qaddafi had already determined and made known…pooh-poohed for his trouble by this government. This is no brief for Qaddafi, but to be bombarded by a country to which he poses absolutely no threat and see his own people slaughtered in the air attacks is something that shouldn’t happen, another way of saying that Obama must be easily influenced by people with agendas and no common sense, the latter which element he seems to share.

It must be galling to the president that the senator he defeated in the presidential election of 2008 has made it his business to decide when this country should jump a small country of 6.3 million population, determine how it should be done (but not with a handoff to NATO), go to the battlefield and from there tell the world how the current stalemated situation should be handled.

It must be galling to the president in light of this stalemate confirmed by his own top military advisers that he listened to his Amazons caterwaul about Qaddafi killing his own rebels and insist that he “just do something,” like the scared spouse screaming at her husband upon spotting a mouse in the house and heading for the stairs. “Just doing something” has amounted to wholesale slaughter but the girls apparently hadn’t thought of that…or maybe they cogitated that they and the UN should decide which set of Libyans should die, choosing the gang in Benghazi to live over Qaddafi and his loyalists. After all, don’t they all look alike?

The Yemenis are slowly but surely agitating their 32-year strongman Saleh out of office without any help from the U.S., though Saleh is this country’s only Arab ally anywhere. Al Qaeda and/or the Muslim Brotherhood, sworn enemies of this country, will be taking over Yemen, just as will be the case in Libya if Qaddafi goes. Obama should be hoping that both strongmen stay the course.

Then, of course, there’s Syria, where strongman Assad has his army shooting the agitators in the streets, something the Amazons apparently haven’t caterwauled about to the UN. Syria is now a Libya look-alike, but McCain had this to say on 25 April on NBC’s Today show: "I don't see a scenario right now or anytime in the near future where the injection of U.S. or NATO military action would in any way beneficially help the situation, I'm sorry to say." Wouldn’t help??? Is that the understatement of the year? If exactly the same thing being done to Libya wouldn’t help Syria, why keep on devastating Libya?

With a president declaring war no. #3 that a senator says is not being fought correctly, what’s a citizen to do? Add a deep recession to the mix with workers walking the streets and the dollar losing value exponentially…food and gasoline prices out the top…a Congress in constant civil war. Maybe Senator Graham had the grim answer: “Citizen needs to wake up every day wondering ‘Will this be my last?’”

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Deadly Folly of Obama, McCain et al

Predictably, a U.S. senator has gone to Libya during the spring recess to “get the feeling on the ground,” the senator this time being McCain, not surprising since it was he, and senators Kerry, Lieberman and Graham (known as the “odd quartet”), who practically frothed at the mouth in urging President Obama to start wiping out Qaddafi and his squirrelly Libyan government back in March. Perhaps Minority House Speaker Pelosi and Senator Kerry will also visit in Benghazi, as they did not too long ago in Damascus to “consult” with Syrian strongman Assad, a chip off the old Assad block as he copies his dad in butchering Syrians in the streets.

Don’t look for McCain or the others to urge Obama to install over Syria a “no-fly zone,” otherwise known as entering into a nation’s civil war on the side of the “people” (75 killed on the latest “Great Friday”) who have about as much chance at toppling Assad as the Benghazi crowd has of toppling Qaddafi, at least until much later, after the U.S. has helped probably thousands to their deaths. The president has resorted now to the use of drones instead of planes on the bombing runs, the better to guarantee against an American’s being killed, something the American public wouldn’t appreciate in what is a non-war of Obama’s personal choice. One U.S. plane has already gone down, but the airmen were rescued by the “right” side. Had that not happened, they would be prisoners of war.

Defense Secretary Gates, while in Russia in March, indicated that the war was being conducted “on the fly,” another way of saying with no real plans, exit strategies or any cohesion with possible “friends,” the “people,” doncha know. He had already inveighed against it, as had Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen, who has just said in Baghdad that the whole affair will end in stalemate. McCain has looked the situation over now and demanded that Obama get on the ball and get the thing over with, as if Libyans loyal to Qaddafi don’t exist and are simply cannon fodder.

Qaddafi has already been told through the media worldwide that there will be no ground troops sent by NATO, now the manager of the non-war, and that arms will not be given to the fighters, so why should he just fold his tent and silently slip away? The drones are attacking targets in Misrata with alleged precision, though everyone knows that the missiles they fire can’t tell one Libyan from another. This is the kind of insulting propaganda that strips from Obama, McCain and all the rest any credibility.

The only things surpassing in intensity the sheer arrogance of Obama and McCain and his senate cronies are either ignorance of the Middle East or simply a vendetta for Qadaffi, whose nation the U.S. removed from the list of terrorist nations a while back, and who transported his entire nuclear program (if not his whole WMD capability) to the U.S. years ago. The arrogance of Obama in recently telling longtime government-heads, Egypt’s Mubarak, Yemen’s Saleh and Libya’s Qadaffi, that they must step down is virtually incomprehensible, sort of like campaigner Obama suggesting he would militarily intervene in Pakistan if that nation’s honchos didn’t get rid of the Pakistani/Afghani Taliban within its borders. He, of course, has proven that to be an empty threat.

As for ignorance, it should be clear by now that the U.S., no matter its good intentions, cannot effect Jeffersonian democracy (or any kind of democracy) in any Middle East country. Obama and his warmongering crowd apparently haven’t caught that. So far, they’ve had enough sense not to arm the Libyan rebels and for good reason. They have no idea who these people are. Qaddafi has said they’re the al Qaeda gang and he might be right. After all, he’s on the ground. Al Qaeda is definitely not welcome in Yemen or Saudi Arabia, both of which countries are constantly on the move in destroying it.

By gratuitously attacking Libya, a country that presents absolutely no threat of any kind to this country and in fact never has, Obama is alienating countries like Saudi Arabia, a vital component in this country’s oil-supply chain. The Saudis were happy for Bush 41 to neutralize Saddam in 1991 and thus save Saudi Arabia, Saddam’s actual goal. Ditto for Bush 43 vis-à-vis Iraq, thereby lessening the threat of Iran. But now, the U.S. is seen, justifiably in its Libya carnage, as having ulterior motives, and those motives might well have to do with the oil that Libya sells to France, Germany, Britain and Spain, the main players besides the U.S. in NATO and the current “no-fly” bomber-gang murdering Libyans on the ground.

The whole thing stinks, with probably the least capable president in all of history conducting what amounts to a war-crime regarding Libya.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Shoulder-to-Shoulder...a Farce

The problem with many church leaders in the U.S. is that they, regardless of what they might say, never actually understand the church-state juxtaposition, especially as applied constitutionally. They make high-flown pronouncements about the value of separation of church and state, essentially that neither may violate the responsibilities/positions of the other, but, in fact, meddle in the affairs of state all the time, though they bristle at the slightest suggestion that the state infringe upon their “freedom of religion.”

Recently, Congressman Peter King of New York, ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, held a hearing on 10 March regarding possible Muslim radicalism in this country, insisting that not to hold the controversial hearing would be a craven surrender to political correctness. King gave a number of examples of actual incidents and plots conceived by Muslim men, such as the failed Times Square bombing and the slaughter at Ft. Hood carried out by Major Hasan. King had in mind the home-grown terrorists such as those exposed recently in England or Netherlands or Denmark.

This apparently rankled some of the church leaders, who banded themselves together in something called the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign, and delivered a strong statement against the hearings, also on 10 March. Here is a brief segment of its long statement: “Spiritual leaders have a moral responsibility and a sacred calling to categorically denounce derision, misinformation or outright bigotry directed against anyone, regardless of faith community.” The self-proclaimed “spiritual leaders,” representing millions of members of various faiths, missed the purpose of the hearing and essentially called King a misinformed bigot – a brotherly Judeo-Christian approach, of course!

One can’t know if President Obama was aware of the S-to-S statement but he showed his concern for Muslims nine days later when, without even consultation with Congress, he ordered an all-out air attack by U.S. planes and missiles, including long-range bombers, on Libya, a poor 97%-Muslim country of 6.3 million people, two million less than the population of New York City. The U.S. bombing went on for days (and still occurs “when needed”) until Obama passed the slaughter of Libyans off to NATO to continue his personal war. Was he also a misinformed bigot or are Muslims in other countries somehow different from those in the U.S., notwithstanding their shared belief in the Islamic holy book, the Koran?

Will S-to-S make a statement with regard to the president’s bombing of and otherwise assaulting Libya –a dreary land 92% desert or semi-desert which hasn’t since the day of Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates been a threat to this nation and even submitted its nuclear program to this country a while back? Did his action, involving the murders of many, not rise to the level of a Congressional hearing held in the interest of safety for citizens, which so lathered S-to-S recently? Apparently S-to-S believes it was not as serious even though Muslims have been slaughtered, since no statement has been forthcoming.

In thinking about the goals of Shoulder-to-Shoulder, one wonders if the organization plans to make a statement in support of the United Church of Christ and critical of the U.S. government vis-à-vis the country’s laws inveighing against that denomination’s official position, since 2005, that men may marry men and women marry women. Isn’t the Defense of Marriage Act passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in the 90s a violation of the UCC’s freedom of religion? The Rev. Geoffrey Black, S-to-S Steering Committee member and head honcho of UCC, surely would appreciate such a statement.

One should not hold his breath until Shoulder-to-Shoulder issues profound statements with respect to both of these subjects. In both matters, government or a government official arguably interferes with specific groups of people – Muslims (though in another country) and homosexuals in this country, not to mention an entire denomination, the United Church of Christ. Where is the outrage that S-to-S exhibited with King’s above-board, transparent and quite logically held hearing just to look into the matter of terrorism? Germany closed a mosque in Hamburg recently because terrorist plots were being hatched there. It’s been discovered that mosques form the breeding ground for terrorist activity elsewhere.

There’s nothing wrong with “doing good,” probably what the spiritual leaders thought they were doing. They couldn’t have been more wrong in slandering King and his hearing, his effort at “doing good” far outweighing theirs since it involved not perceived political incorrectness, but public safety. If the American Muslims feel insulted they should forswear their holy book that plainly doesn’t just approve of but demand “death to the infidel” whenever possible or made possible. Not even their “spiritual leaders” – or especially those leaders – have said this edict is not there. Evidence of it is seen throughout the world on a daily basis.

Shoulder-to-Shoulder is a farce and should be disbanded.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, April 18, 2011

Obama's Bay of Pigs

In the year of President Obama’s birth in August, the most disgraceful military episode of probably all U.S. history, known as the Bay of Pigs, took place in April in Cuba. Obama has just totally duplicated the Bay of Pigs disaster in Libya, an episode just as disgraceful as that of 1961.

One wonders if the president has any sense of history. In the Bay of Pigs event, the CIA had trained a small army of Cuban exiles to invade Cuba with the intention of wrestling the country from Fidel Castro, who had become its communist dictator. The critical ingredient to success lay in the support of the U.S. Air Force, as promised, to supply the vital air cover for the men storming the beach. That support was withheld by President Kennedy and the effort was crushed. The result remains obvious.

Flash forward to April 2011. In the preceding month, President Obama declared his personal war on Libya, particularly its strongman ruler, Muammar Qaddafi, without bothering to consult Congress. Instead, he sent State Secretary Clinton and U.S. UN Ambassador Rice to the UN Security Council to get approval of his war. Reluctantly, the approval was granted by a slim margin, a number of states choosing not to vote.

The vague UN resolution was about establishing a no-fly zone and protecting the people, whatever that meant. The U.S. was the heavy hitter as the assault started on Libyans, notwithstanding that they, instead of being protected vis-à-vis the resolution, were being killed. It was sort of killing one set of Libyans to protect another set of Libyans, which, of course, makes no sense. The objective was to take out military installations, but bombs and missiles just kill anyone who happens to be hanging out at the wrong place.

Establishing the no-fly zone was a piece of cake, but that was never the actual objective, which was to get Qaddafi out of Libya, whether or not with his toes turned up, but with the latter as the best choice. Naturally, there had to be somebody to take charge when Qaddafi was hammered but nobody seemed to have thought of that. The “people” to be protected seemed to be those in Benghazi, but there was no leader and only a ragtag collection of militants who celebrated everything from a birth to a wedding by firing their guns in the air.

The action was essentially a unilateral one cooked up by the U.S. but could not appear to be such since that wouldn’t set well with the citizens, who understood that the U.S. was already up to its ears in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. UN-approval didn’t set well, either, since Obama had supplanted his own Congress with that collection of mostly U.S.-haters.

What to do? Shove the whole thing off on NATO, thus relieving Obama of the unilateral criticism, actually an empty gesture since the U.S. is the major player in NATO. Obama took care of that problem by withdrawing U.S. air support shortly after the bombardments had started, with the promise of more help if needed and air support such as furnishing refueling tankers for the planes of England, France and anybody else’s that wanted to pound Libyans to death in order to save the “people.”

Sound familiar? Withdrawn U.S. air-capability spelled doom for the Cuban exiles. Withdrawn U.S. air-capability regarding Libya set the NATO nations to arguing, some of them refusing to drop bombs on Libya and all of them refusing to put boots on the ground. This left the “people” (whoever they are) without the air support necessary to fighting Qaddafi, who in the meantime replaced his tanks and other exposed armaments with light armaments such as guns on pickups and, of course, parked them conveniently in towns, the natural result being NATO killing civilians in order to protect the “people.”

The U.S. pullout, planned though it was, amounts to a Bay of Pigs move, the “people’s” army being left with some light armament sent by Qatar, for instance, but unable to dislodge Qaddafi with it and fighting with undisciplined ragtag gunmen shooting in the air for most any reason and castigating NATO for not bailing them out. As for the weapons, no one knows who’s using them, probably al Qaeda or the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood gang. As for NATO, it has no stomach for the mess but will still keep flying and bombing…to save the “people.” The “people” are now stranded…like the Cuban exiles of 1961.

Did Obama think he needed his own war in preparation for the election in 2012? Bush started two, after all, and got reelected; however, neither would have happened without Congressional approval. Ah well…Libya – just 6.3 million population and with 92% of its land desert or semi-desert – was a nice place to start a war. Wonder what Obama’s exit strategy is? Only the Shadow knows.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Under-the-Bus Gang Rides Again!

It's mid-afternoon in a room over the Anything Goes Bar on a busy street in South Chicago. In attendance are university professors William Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright and presidential adviser Robert Gibbs, hereinafter referenced as A, D, W and G, respectively.

**W: Welcome, Mr. Gibbs, to the Union to Negate Demeaning of Erudite Realists, Theologians and Honest Educators Basic to the United States.
**G: The what?
**W: You mean you don’t know what the…in fact, I figured you’re here to join, now that you ain’t in that Washington nuthouse anymore.
**A: Maybe you’ve heard of it by its Acronym, Gibbs, Under the Bus. It’s made up of the people who’ve been…
**W: kicked off the team because they stand up for…
**D: Oh…don’t be so whiny, Rev. Just because Barry had to disown you after that awful performance at the National Press Club…after all, you got your reparations in the 1960s and…
**W: We ain’t got no reparations yet Bernardine, and I’ll thank you to call me Doctor, not Rev.
**G: Could we just get down to business here, folks? I’m on a tight schedule as an adviser to Commander-in-Chief Obama and…
**A: What’s with the C-in-C stuff, Gibbs? Can’t you just say…
**G: Oh…sorry about that. The comman…er…Barry required all the staff to address him as Commander-in-Chief at all times except in public and…well, the habit’s hard to break. Anyway, Barry asked me to consult with you guys concerning the current campaign so…
**W: I suspect he also told you to make sure nobody saw you consulting so that’s why we’re in this fleabag bar and probably house of the risin’ sun on these other floors. (starts singing) There is a house in New Orleans…
**D: That’s not exactly a hymn Dr. Wright.
**W: I know, I know, but I like the tune. You oughtta hear Louie play it on the violin…gives it real passion…risin’ sun passion…no burkas there…no nothin’ there…talk about passion…hoo-hah!
**G: Louie? Who’s Louie?
**A: Louis Farrakhan, of course…surely you’ve heard of Calypso Louie, sometimes called the enforcer and head of the Nation of…
**D: Islam…right in these United States. (laughs maniacally) You know…Malcolm X is in his grave/Wrong, of course, but oh so brave! Ah…gunfire in the night…GLORIOUS…although I would have preferred a knife in the ribs…no fun at such a distance. Charles Manson would have been much more creative and…
**A: Yeeeaaahhh…maybe thrown a grenade down his skivvies like that plane-bomber last Christmas…like we threw in the Pentagon back in the day…ah, we didn’t do enough…that’s what I told them after 9/11…shoulda gone for old Tricky or Lyndon…whoever…
**G: Look…like I said…I’m on a tight schedule. You can reminisce after I leave. I WILL leave before you do since Barry said for me not…
**W: to be seen with the Under-the-Bus crowd. Yeah…that might look bad, what with these Pentagon-bombers runnin’ loose and teachin’ all those kids here how to hate America.
**D: Oh yeah, Jeremiah…oh yeah! You’re a fine one to say that after your God-damn-America sermons
(laughs hysterically) and blaming Uncle Sugar for clobbering the black folk with AIDS…AIDS, for Satan’s sake. What a miserable death…COOL.
**G: Back to the subject! Look, the comman…er, Barry…is getting a lot of questions on Libya so he told me to ask you specifically about that issue and…
**A: ISSUE? That’s no issue…that’s a genuine problem…whether to go on killing Libyans to keep Libyans from killing Libyans or just let them kill each other without blowing all that cash on bombers and missiles and all the time telling the Frenchies to get their act together and be our proxies in the killing.
**D: I’m for landing the troops and arming them with machetes because that’s so…well, AFRICAN. (laughs uproariously) Chopping off hands and arms and legs and a head once in a while…SO African…all that blood in the streets…WHOOPEE!
**A: Yeeaahh…so MUSLIM, too. I understand Barry’s deep into Islam anyway and a few beheadings on TV might just do the job…scare old devil Muammar out of his skull and right into…hey…Gitmo! Let’s hear it for Guantanamo! (clapping by A, D and W)
**W: Throw a little AIDS his way, too. That’ll get his attention…there is a house…h-m-m-m-ms…
**G: Look, I’m serious about this.
**A: We are, too. Barry’s way too soft…sent those three girls off to the UN to tell that sob story about something that hadn’t even happened…got nine votes…or was it eight…to just bomb the Libyans right back into Mohammad’s seventh century.
**G: He’s got nothing against the Libyans…just Qaddafi!
**D: What’s one Libyan over another? That’s discrimination…huh, Jeremiah?
**W: Well…yeah…I guess. Anyway, the seat of civilization was down there around the Congo anyway, so one Muslim’s the same as any other…or maybe I better talk to Louie about that and get back to you, Glibs…er…Gibbs, I guess it is. I always thought you were kinda glib except when you said uh, which was about fourteen times a sentence. Carney started off about the same way but maybe he’ll…
**G: Oh yeah…oh yeah! You got any idea how hard it is to stay one step ahead of those media nutcases? I used that uh to give me time to think. One wrong word and the comman…er…Barry would look bad and sic Biden on me…wake him right up and tell him to give me what-for. (hesitates) Guess you guys are telling me that you think Barry should send in the troops…is that it?
**W: Well…he started it, didn’t he, and then invited NATO to take over and called off the troops? Now the chickens have come to roost…just like Hiroshima and…
**A: Right sermon, wrong war, Jeremiah. But, yeah, Glibs, just tell Barry we’re taking up money for him down here and to send in the clowns…no wait…send in the troops. The clowns are all in Washington.
**G: Right! Got it! Thanks…now just give me five minutes start.
**A, D, W: a-a-r-r-g-g-h-h-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H!!!!!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, April 11, 2011

Obama's War...Personal & Disgraceful

At the end of his inaugural speech in March 1861, Abraham Lincoln said this: “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it.”

At that time, a provisional constitution providing for secession had already been approved by six states and only a few days after Lincoln’s speech a permanent constitution was approved, with Jefferson Davis elected as president. Other states would follow suit in the South but, of course, neither Lincoln nor the U.S. Congress recognized the new pseudo-nation. Earlier in his speech, Lincoln had mentioned that two things could happen vis-à-vis governance – amend the Constitution or rise in revolution. The rest is history as revolution was engaged by the Confederacy.

On 12 April 1861, Jefferson Davis ordered the shelling of Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, S.C., by confederate forces, beginning the four worst years in U.S. history, by the end of which the combined count of dead soldiers of both sides would be 625,000, or an average of an unbelievable 435 per day. The document ending the war was signed by southern General Lee and northern General Grant on 09 April 1865.

Lincoln’s duty – preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution – was codified in Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution. As commander-in-chief (Article II, Section II), it was his job to actually raise and use a military force sufficient to put down a rebellion. Since the CSA was not an actual government, the seceding states were in a state of rebellion and the Congress had no state/nation against which to declare war, its responsibility under the Constitution. It was Lincoln’s war. He could either fight it or cave.

Presidents have gone to the Congress for declarations of war on a number of occasions. Congress declared war on Mexico in May 1846. War was declared by Congress on Germany in April 1917. Declarations of war took place by this country in 1941 against the Axis nations.

However, when significant military force is seen to be needed with no state/nation against which to declare war, presidents consult Congress and get its approval, such as against the Viet Cong (1960s) and the Taliban in 2001. Or, when a group of nations, including the U.S., agree that significant military action is necessary against a threatening entity, the president will consult the Congress, such as regarding Kuwait in 1991 (UN) and Iraq in 2002-3 (coalition). In these cases, a clear and imminent threat to the interests of the U.S. was involved but Congress participated formally in the process.

There has to be a reason for a president to act in what amounts to a police action such as President Reagan’s brief aerial assault on Libyan strongman Qaddafi in 1986, probably the first attempt against international terrorism. Intelligence had indicated that Qaddafi had at least harbored, if not ordered, terrorists to kill Americans in Berlin. There’s never a reason for this or any other nation to assault another nation or other entity without cause, i.e., a definite and imminent threat to a nation’s security.

President Obama has recently made a practice of arrogantly informing long-time heads of other governments that they should step down, in the process encouraging if not inciting their constituencies to take to the streets in rebellion. Think Egypt’s Mubarak, Yemen’s Saleh and Libya’s Qaddafi. Mubarak did step down and the resulting military government has lately killed citizens in downtown Cairo. Saleh and Qaddafi have paid Obama no mind and are doing what Lincoln did.

The actual disgrace to the office of U.S. president happened, however, when Obama, without consultation with Congress and in the face of absolutely no threat from Libya, perhaps one of the weakest nations in the world with a population of only 6.3 million, simply ordered U.S. forces to bomb and rain down missiles on that nation for days in March, even though his own Defense Department warned against it. Obama had told Qaddafi to step down. Qaddafi demurred, ergo, bomb him out…for the innocent victims, just too bad. That’s personal. Americans are still helping NATO (with the Congress not consulted) kill Libyans.

Newsweek called it “Hillary’s [State Secretary Clinton’s] War.” No…it’s Obama’s personal war. His military would have been justified in refusing the order to attack a virtually defenseless nation, at least compared to the mightiest military in the world. His action, especially without even a hearing in Congress, was reprehensible, sanguinary, and an act deserving of impeachment. Could it be a war-crime, as well?

What would Lincoln think?

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Obama's War - WHY?

The treachery of President Obama is becoming clearer each day as the so-called Libyan “protesters” and NATO, now supposedly without the “combative” help of the U.S., duke it out in the sand with Qaddafi. For no apparent reason under the well-known sun, Obama simply declared his own personal war on Libyan strongman Qaddafi, sent his minions to the UN to somehow gain the Security Council’s imprimatur for his action, and then set about bombing the bejesus out of Libyans, military and otherwise, letting the blood flow freely.

The president’s military establishment advised against the action for reasons that any John Doe can understand but that were apparently beyond the president’s pay-grade…or were they, i.e., do military considerations per se have anything to do with the president’s agenda? With absolutely no military experience at all, he proceeded to overrule people who understand quite well the ramifications of war.

Nor did the president go to Congress, even though he had a month to do so. The “protesting” in Libya started on 15 February and the UN vote was taken on 17 March. With over a month to appear before Congress to lay out his plan, which involved making war just as in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, the president took a pass, never mind the seriousness of the issue. Why? Because he knew the Congress would not approve.

So…after sitting on his hands for a month, Obama recognized that all of a sudden there was an emergency with no time to waste and sent the gals off to the UN to push the Security Council panic-button, with enough states not voting to deliver an edict by the barest margin…and the bombs and missiles started raining down on the Libyans, a sort of genocide with Obama instead of Qaddafi killing Libyans, military and otherwise. After all, bombs and missiles are not choosy about whose body parts get spread here and there.

The “no-fly zone” was a red herring for the obvious reason that Qaddafi would put no planes in the air and every responsible person knew that to be the case. The Libyan plane destroyed by the French was a trainer and it was on the ground. The other part of the UN resolution having to do with “protecting Libyan citizens” meant that the action could be what anyone said it was.

So…that second part became the operative strategy and the “protection” amounted to taking the side of the “protesters” in an actual military operation against the government, notwithstanding that no one knew exactly who the protesters were, what entity(ies) was supporting them, or who their leader was, assuming they had one. The Frenchies recognized some entity as perhaps a government-in-waiting, but that was worth nothing. Obama announced his action in far-off Brazil and didn’t make it home to conduct the war for some five or so days.

No head-of-state in his right mind would undertake a hazy operation such as this, especially just on the say-so of some totally non-military advisers – in this case, apparently, State Secretary Clinton, UN Ambassador Rice, and Obama insider Power – who claimed that Qaddafi was ABOUT to commit genocide on his people. He hadn’t done it but they said Qaddafi would – on the basis of something he said – which most folks would have questioned as simply propaganda.

There had been no mass murders though Qaddafi obviously planned to put down what he considered a rebellion, just as did Lincoln in 1861. The ladies provided the perfect excuse for attacking Qaddafi…to save lives, even though lives had been lost for months in Cote d-Ivoire, with Obama doing nothing, despite the ease of intervening in that African coastal nation.

None of this makes sense, especially since the lives of American GIs were involved and Libya posed absolutely no threat to this country, so the obvious question becomes…why? The population of Libya is 6.3 million, two million less than that of New York City. Part of the answer can be seen in the constant spiking of gasoline prices. Obama had to know this would happen when he invaded an oil-producing country, if only by air. He also had to know that Qaddafi, if pushed to the wall, would probably destroy the oil facilities, thus keeping gas prices on the rise.

This makes one remember Obama’s claim during his campaign that he would make electricity prices skyrocket, largely by penalizing the coal industry and thus shutting down much of manufacturing as well as depleting personal incomes. The Libyan thing is a sort of godsend, allowing him to make war to further destroy small entrepreneurs’ ability to stay in business by pricing gas/oil out of their budgets and further eroding Americans’ earnings by robbing them at the gas-pump. Conclusion: Socialism!

Too big a stretch? Too tough on the president? Already fighting two wars for which there had always been a reason, why would he get into another for absolutely no reason and then get right out, which he did? All that was needed was the dustup and oil prices would “skyrocket.” By getting out and leaving NATO holding the bag, he removed potential criticism for the possible loss of American lives, such as could have happened if the American airmen in that jet that crashed had wound up in Qaddafi’s hands instead of those of the insurgents.

One hopes that such is not the case. One wonders, also, if Libya will be Obama’s “Bay of Pigs” - attack the enemy and then desert the ally!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, April 04, 2011

Obama, the Constitution & War

Despite his obvious efforts to separate his approach to matters regarding world affairs from that of former president George W. Bush, President Obama has actually been emulating Mr. Bush, angering and bewildering Obama supporters. His flip-flop on Guantanamo and the Patriot Act are examples. He has decided now publicly that U.S.-ally Yemeni President Saleh has to go under the bus, just as he’s decided lately that the Egyptian and Libyan presidents had to go.

There’s reason to be concerned about his Yemen announcement in light of his actions pursuant to his Libyan announcement last month, i.e., his subsequent making of war on Libya and announcing that NATO would continue the war as the U.S. pulled out of all but a “support” role and after spending probably $650 million or so in the process. The president’s arrogance has no limit.

The obvious question has to do with what the president intends to do since “citizens” protesting in Yemen have been killed just as was the case in Libya, with Obama ginning up his war on Libya ostensibly to protect them from Qaddafi, who continues to insist that he has a right to put down a rebellion, as does Saleh. Does Obama intend to “protect” Yemenis by making war on Yemen, then maybe passing it off to NATO or the EU or some other body? Who knows?

This brings up the matter of presidential responsibilities vis-a-vis the requirements/allowances of the U.S. Constitution. Did the prexy have the right to attack Libya and does he have the right to do the same regarding Yemen or any other country whose head-of-state he decides should get out of Dodge? Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution:“The Congress shall have power…to declare war…to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.”

Article 2, Section 2: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and of the Militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States,…” The president is given the specific power to conduct the military operation if Congress declares or otherwise (under the laws) mandates military action.

It seems clear enough constitutionally that the president carries out the enactments/resolutions of the Congress but does not make policy decisions regarding armed conflict and certainly does not make war as his prerogative, which is precisely what Obama did regarding Libya. Indeed, if insurrections and invasions were to be included as those happening in other nations (Libya, for instance), according to the constitution he would have been required to act in behalf of Qaddafi, not against him.

This military meddling in other nations’ affairs is not the requirement or allowance of the Constitution, of course, but does emphasize when the Congress/president can instigate or carry out military action regarding this nation, i.e., to put down insurrections and/or invasions, as, for instance, in the case of the Confederacy in 1861 or the Barbary pirates off the coast of Libya in the early 1800s, when the buccaneers “invaded” American ships.

Libya obviously did not invade or otherwise violate this country last month; therefore, according to the Constitution, neither the Congress nor the president had any right to bomb sovereign territory and murder Libyans, an absolute act of war, exactly like the action of the Japanese on 07 December 1941 at Pearl Harbor, which did result in war being declared by the Congress, not the president, who then conducted the war. In his action, Obama became a Hirohito, not a Roosevelt, not an attractive comparison.

If the main premise for Obama’s virtually unilateral action has to do with humanitarian considerations, as seems to be the case, this country/president, even if constitutionally allowed, would need a military of many millions to handle the whole world, especially the Middle East and Africa (particularly in Muslim-controlled countries), in order to protect the many populations affected.

Many governments are changed on the point of the sword and blood routinely runs in the streets (think Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Ivory Coast, and many others besides Libya currently), with outcomes that are unpredictable and consequent conditions not necessarily being improved as the result of either in-state actions or interventions by other countries. How many governments does Obama intend to attack?

In any case, the president did not act within his constitutional authority; rather, he acted quite outside it.
He compounded his unconstitutional approach by also deciding when the U.S. would essentially withdraw from the action he initiated, something that should have been decided by Congress if he had wisely approached the lawmakers in the first place, thus initiating and ending his own war. The “no-fly zone” and “citizen protection” elements of the UN resolution have actually become a ground war, a killing-field the Security Council may not have envisioned.

Since the actions by Bush and Obama vis-à-vis congressional oversight/declarations and on-the-ground situations were distinctly different, no comparison can be made concerning their actions. Bush gained approval from Congress. Obama gained approval from the UN. His responsibility was to the people of the U.S. through their elected representatives, not the UN or Arab League. Actually, Obama should have listened to his Defense Secretary and Joint-Chiefs Chairman, who warned against his action.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark